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Helpful Tips Before Getting A Cat

Aug 17, 2007
Before you look for a new cat, know what you are getting into. Despite their reputation for being aloof, cats are not animals that you can ignore. Unless your are prepared to spend time with them, do not get one. If you have never owned cats, you may not realize that they do certain cat things and need certain cat things. New and unsuspecting cat owners may be surprised when they find their cats regularly do the following:

1. Jump. Cats like to be in high places such as on top of your desk, bookcase, filing cabinet, sofa to watch people and events and gain information about people behavior.
2. Play. Cats need interaction with humans. Be prepared to spend time playing with and talking to your cat.
3. Scratch. Cats have to scratch. Rather than trying to prevent them, train them to use a scratching post and trim their claws regularly.
4. Vomit. While this may seem a bit something on the ill side - it is not. Many cats constantly vomit or cough up hair balls and fur balls to clear their throat of them.

Where you live plays an important role in the feasibility of owning a cat, especially if you do not own your own home. Obviously, some landlords do not allow cats so look for apartments that do. One way to find out is to access the internet. You can do searches online for apartments that do allow cats. When you do find a place you want to live, ask yourself the following questions.

1. Does your apartment complex require declawing or require that cats are kept indoors only? If so, you could face unresolvable litter box problems that could eat up your security deposit and living options.
2. Is your apartment or house big enough for one or more scratching posts or litter boxes? Can it handle more litter boxes if a problem develops?
3. Are you on a quiet or a busy street? If you live in a congested area, your cat will face increased risks if he goes outdoors.

Shelters are the best place to find a cat. With thousands of cats being euthanized in your local cat shelters due to lack of homes, adoption is a responsible choice. Shelters put cats through adoption tests so your chance of finding a smart, loyal and appreciative cat is extremely high in practically any reputable shelter in the country.

Kittens less than eight weeks old are often cared for in a volunteer foster home until they are old enough to adopt. In these cases, the shelter may be able to give you an idea of the kitten's personality and behavior. Try to locate a small, nonprofit cat shelter. Smaller shelters often do not cage or euthanize their cats. Many small shelters are run by people who will sacrifice everything to find homes for the cats they rescue.

At the shelter, you will find strays and unwanted adults and kittens that have been put up for adoption. Even after the stress of being captured, relocated and caged, stray cats can be trained to be well-behaved. If you are thinking of owning only one cat, try to find a cat who is used to being alone. This will probably be an adult. If you want a kitten, it is best to adopt at least two kittens so each will have a friend.

There are advantages to adopting an adult cat. While it is hard to know what sort of cat a kitten will become, you will know the size and personality of the grown cat in relation to your home or apartment. If you do adopt kittens, try to get them over 10 to 12 weeks old. The longer a kitten stays with her mother, the better your chances of having a healthy, stress-tolerant cat.

You may call different shelters to see if they have older kittens and at what age the kittens were taken from the mother. Find out if the kittens were fostered in a household with children for several weeks. Children and frequent handling make for a more social and loving cat.
About the Author
Tristan Andrews writes useful articles about cats and kittens. Discover and explore the feline world. Find out how to better care for, train and live with your cat at http://www.i-love-cats.com
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